Inflation is hitting America’s 90 million pet owners hard, and they need help too

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From inaccessible housing to pain at the gas pump and less food on the table despite a higher spending bill, rising prices and rising inflation are affecting almost every aspect of American life.

Unfortunately, the pain associated with inflation isn’t just impacting your bank account. It can also have a very real impact on the heart of your home, particularly when you need to make tough choices between putting food on the table or in your pet’s bowl.

The truth is, in these tough economic times, pet owners are struggling to make ends meet and many can no longer afford to take care of their furry best friends like they used to. We see this problem manifesting itself in shelters across the country, from Austin, Texas, to Kalamazoo, Michigan, as accessibility issues force pet owners to deliver their pets to shelters amid rising costs of supplies. pets and veterinary care.

Many pet owners can no longer afford to take care of their furry best friends like they used to.
(iStock)

These shelters, in turn, are being inundated with abandoned pets and are forced to house them in conditions that are rapidly evolving as space, time and resources become increasingly subtle. This problematic cycle exacerbates the difficulties of both pet owners and animals who lose their homes due to economic uncertainty.

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A recent survey by LendingTree highlights this eye-opening trend, noting that over 75% of pet owners say recent inflation is making pet ownership more expensive and 26% say they are struggling to maintain needs. of your pet due to these rising expenses. Worse still, nearly 25% of owners have gone into debt to meet their pet’s needs, with 30% of those stuck in pet-related debt with a debt of $ 1,000 or more.

With 70% of households hosting pets in America, this is a community-wide problem that deserves a community-driven solution that engages gamers from Main Street sidewalks to the halls of Congress.

Nearly 25% of owners have gone into debt to meet their pet's needs.

Nearly 25% of owners have gone into debt to meet their pet’s needs.
(Photo AP / Shelter Me, Martin Ehleben)

To help with this effort, American Humane co-sponsored Pet Night on Capitol Hill on September 2. 21, so that members of Congress and their staff could hear directly from the leaders of the pet care community about the issues that directly impact the more than 90 million pet owners in the United States today. By conveying this message directly to the people responsible for legislating these economic problems, we can help shape clearly and emphatically how lawmakers look at the real problem of giving up pets in the face of rising inflation.

Our work, however, does not begin and end on Capitol Hill.

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The solutions to these challenges lie not only in our elected officials, but in all of us reaching out to the most affected pet owners. Emergency grants from national animal welfare organizations to shelters and local communities are an excellent way to help keep pets with their keepers. American Humane is proud to have provided more than 100 of these grants to shelters in need in 43 states through our “Feed the Hungry” campaign. Thanks to this effort, we have gladly served more than 1,000,000 meals to hungry animals. As we continue to provide for pets and their owners, we urge others to donate to causes like this to help those most in need.

Accessibility issues are forcing pet owners to deliver their pets to shelters amid the rising costs of pet supplies and veterinary care.

Accessibility issues are forcing pet owners to deliver their pets to shelters amid the rising costs of pet supplies and veterinary care.
(iStock)

Food banks set up by local and national organizations offering pet food and supplies can also help ease the heavy burden on families with pets during these difficult economic times. When pet owners know they can access what their pet needs to live a healthy and fulfilling life, the stress on both the pet and humans is greatly eased.

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Animal welfare organizations and individuals alike must step up to do their best to help our fellow citizens grapple with the cost of caring for an expensive pet. As shelters get overwhelmed and pet owners battle economic challenges brought on by problems like inflation, we need to turn to both our lawmakers and our neighbors for support in helping keep people with their beloved friends.

We all know how difficult it can be to take care of a pet when you are struggling to take care of yourself. Through a combination of legislative action, emergency grants and community support, we can all help improve the lives of these pets and keep them in their homes forever with the families who need them by their side now more than ever.

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